Shelves: social-science , philosophy , music absolutely genius book tracing the origin and development of music, but so much more - showing music as a reflection of, and a precedent for, the structure of production within society, by focussing on the relationship between music, power and money. That seemed a bit hard to absolutely genius book tracing the origin and development of music, but so much more - showing music as a reflection of, and a precedent for, the structure of production within society, by focussing on the relationship between music, power and money. This was reflected in society with the industrial revolution, where labour was also abstracted from ones own form of production and sold as an hourly commodity. I was keen to see what examples he would give of this stage, but unfortunately the chapter is more open, more of a prediction of what is to come.

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Distraction from the misery of life through the sacrifice of a god. The alienation of life made bearable by a promise of eternity. Main idea: Music is both a mirror and a prophecy. Music is both a mirror and a prophecy.

It is a mirror, for its organization resembles the current organization of our society: music is "a repository of. Nor is Attali addressing the specific way that a nation is politically organized, such as the way that the British political system differs from the American system. He means organization of the most general sort: the way that feudalism differs from advanced capitalism. What is noise to the old order is harmony to the new.

Attali thinks that he can make predictions about capitalism based on some recent that is, s! These predictions are made in Chapter 5. It thereby affirms that society is possible, that we can set aside our differences in a mutual sacrifice: we can turn noise violence into music action involving sublimation of violence.

Sacrificing makes us forget that we could be free. The aim is to make people forget that normalcy order has triumphed over carnival freedom. The value of sacrifice why we accept it is the pure order that it offers as an antidote to the general violence of carnival. Individuals refrain from violence and allow the state to engage in violence for us. Attali summarizes his own argument: Noise is violence, i.

Music is a channelization of noise and a simulacrum of sacrifice, a sublimation to create order and political integration. Therefore music is ritual murder. At the extreme extreme volume, for instance , it kills. Statisticians use the term for random fluctuations in data that they dismiss as meaningless. See Chapter Four. Here, music has a political function, representing the very possibility of organized society.

But it does not create wealth. One use-value the event of musical performance is exchanged with another use-value food, clothing, etc. But they are not productive workers, for there is no surplus value. Attali says that Brueghel represents order beside the chaos [chance? This music accompanies the ritual sacrifice pictured in the detail shown just above. As music develops as a commodity and as harmonic developments display rational progress, music makes us believe in social cohesion.

In short, "representation leads to exchange and harmony. At bottom of the detail, the rich man gives money to the poor beggars, bribing them from participation in festival.

Is there any music here, Attali wonders, or is there only silence? Spectacle: the concert hall replaces the religious, festival, and official court settings of sacrificial music that was produced by unproductive workers i. The divine rights of kings give way to liberty and representative government. But composers could not be autonomous unless music became autonomous, an object capable of generating wealth. Music must become a commodity, produced to be exchanged for money. More precisely, money is generated through the representation of music via the score , and it is presented to the public in a theatrical representation a presentation of the abstract object and, at the same time, the performance is a theatrical representation of an ideal world order.

By gradual steps, the royal control of copyright becomes private ownership of the musical work. Royal power shifts to music publishers. Its composers can collect fees for its performance.

Different ticket prices should therefore reflect differences in labor. So "music is outside all measure. The primitive notion of natural harmony gives way to equal temperament, the idea of "a constructed, reasoned order," a scientific construction.

Collective consumption gives way to individualized accumulation. The collective is silenced. Their play is beside the stand where the fish are commercially sold. They create a demand for the pottery that is unrelated to its intended use.

Here, "music is used and produced in the ritual in an attempt to make people forget the general violence; in another, it is employed to make people believe in the harmony of the world, that there is order in exchange and legitimacy in commercial power. But listening to music still requires a double expenditure of time.

The consumer buys it with time and then expends additional time in listening use-time. Records allow the stockpiling of the second expenditure of time. Aesthetically, the result is repetitive music: the music of revolt is tamed into a repetitive commodity, each priced the same as the rest. Harmonically, popular music is very traditional. It simply recycles what was done in the classical period Bach to Schoenberg.

Muzak reveals the basic character of this music. Learned music. The serious musician flees from the tendencies of mass music, and set free, seeks the radical opposite of mass music. Imitating the rational research programs of Western scientism, their musical "discourse becomes nonlocalizable. The elimination of use-time is the herald of death.

So to change the political economy of music is just to change the way this murder is ritualized, and because we now "use" music by stockpiling it, we are therefore stockpiling death. I am reminded of the movie Moonstruck, in which we discover that men are unfaithful to their wives because they fear death. Setting themselves apart from everyone else, the dancers make their own music for their own pleasurable activity.

This noncommercial music prophecies a post-capitalistic future. This new activity is NOT undertaken for its exchange or use value. It is undertaken solely for the pleasure of the person who does it its "producer". Such activity involves a radical rejection of the specialized roles composer, performer, audience that dominated all previous music. There is no clear distinction between consumption and production. This outline was written by Theodore Gracyk.


Jacques Attali

His father, Simon Attali, is a self-educated person who achieved success in perfumery "Bib et Bab" shop in Algiers. On 11 February , his mother gave birth to his sister, Fabienne. In , two years after the beginning of the Algerian independence war — , his father decided to move to Paris with his family. Michel Serres was among the jury of his Ph. In , when he was 27, he became a member of the Council of State. His directed his political campaign for the presidential elections in


Noise: The Political Economy of Music

A Noise: The Political Economy of Music is a book by French economist and scholar Jacques Attali concerning the role of music in the political economy. For Marxist critics, this idea is nothing new. Sacrificing refers to the pre-history of modern music—the period of purely oral tradition. In historical terms, this period could be dated to anytime before about AD.


Books by Jacques Attali

And such heavy people to put the wrapping on it, too: Jameson, identified simply by the book jacket as William A. Lane Jr. Why was such protective explanatory wrapping deemed to be necessary? Was the text, originally published in French in , really that difficult to comprehend? Then why? Because of who wrote it, and why it was written. On the book jacket, Jacques Attali is identified simply as "the author of numerous books, including Millenium: Winners and Losers in the Coming World Order.

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